“Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the LORD rises to shine on you. ~ Isaiah 60:1 ~
The book of Isaiah is the announcement of God’s surprising plan of grace and glory for His rebellious people. It’s a story of rebellion, judgement, sacrifice, and redemption.
In Genesis 12:2-3, the Lord promises Abraham that through his descendants, the world would be blessed.
2“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
But by the time Isaiah came into the scene, the descendants of Abraham had grown to no longer trust in the promises of the ever-faithful God. They instead aligned themselves with the false promises and the fears of this world. Isaiah recalls that the Israelites saw the very presence of the Lord, and yet their faith was so fleeting. They were epically rescued from the hands of slavery. The people of God saw manna come down from heaven, they saw seas part, they saw enemies fall in defeat, they saw the Lord in a pillar of clouds by day and fire by night…and yet still they so easily wandered from the Lord and His commandments. (Deuteronomy 8:1-10)
THEY HAD FALLEN ASLEEP!
THEY HAD FALLEN ASLEEP TO THE PROMISES OF GOD.
LIKE A MARRIED WOMAN WHO SELLS HERSELF ON THE STREET — WE HAVE BELIEVED THE LIES OF THE ENEMY AND WE HAVE FORGOTTEN THE PROMISES OF GOD AND WHO WE ARE IN HIM! (Exodus 16:2, Numbers 11:1-15, 14:2)
But there is one strong theme that runs through this story. For this is not just a story of rebellion and disobedience. This is a story of pursuit, passion, forgiveness, and an undying longing for God to be with the one He loves, His chosen people. The Word of God describes our human condition of being prone to wander from God, and His glorious forgiveness, always available and ready to welcome us home.
Close your eyes. Picture the perfect Garden of Eden. Perfection. Beauty. It was not just good, but “very good.” The ultimate creation in communion with the Creator. But…temptation. A choice to sin. Doubt that God really is who He says He is. One thought. What the world can give us is better than what God can give us. And now…imperfection. The original design taken by the enemy.
And what does our majestic Father do. He calls us into the open. He clothes us. And He engages with full force on the journey of redemption for our sins. And, out of His great love for us, He does not turn His back on us. Even though we so very much would deserve it! Rather, He makes a way for us to be in constant and perfect communion again. Oh yes, death will be defeated. The enemy will be overcome!
In 2 Samuel, the Lord promises David that his throne would lead the world into salvation
12“When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13“He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14“I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, 15 but My loving-kindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16“Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”’”
The restoration of Israel is our restoration. As God redefined Israel for His glory, He is redefining us. O chosen people of God, remember who you are!
Isaiah 44:21-22 Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are My servant. I have formed you; you are My servant. O Israel, I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to Me, for I have redeemed you.
O chosen people of God, remember that you have been pursued with a great love! Remember that your opportunity to live once again in perfect communion with the Lord Jesus Christ, has been bought with a great sacrifice!
Isaiah 53:5 He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed.
And now, you may once again wear that white bridal gown!
Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation; He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with jewels.